The new 1,000-kilogram version of the AASM ‘Hammer’ air-to-ground modular weapon, designed and produced by Safran Electronics & Defense, successfully completed its first two inert separation tests from a Rafale omni role fighter. A statement by SAFRAN said, “The tests were conducted at the French defense procurement agency DGA’s Cazaux flight test center in southwest France. The separation dynamics observed during the two firings were in line with simulations. These industrial validation tests were designed to check the correct sequencing of all components of the wing hardpoint and the weapon, as well as the wing deployment mechanism on the range extension kit.”
Following these separation tests, the first live firing tests will be conducted in 2021 as part of the final development and qualification of the 1,000-kg AASM. The 1,000-kg AASM features a guidance kit derived from the 250-kg version and a specific range extension kit. The 1,000-kg AASM has the same modular characteristics as the 250-kg version with the BLU109 penetrating bomb body and MK84 conventional body, as well as its close functional integration with the Rafale, especially for fire control system and configuration options. This new weapon will give the Rafale an enhanced strike capability, with payload configurations of up to three 1,000-kg AASMs per aircraft. Its standoff range is also extended, thanks to the integrated propulsion system. Developed and produced by Safran Electronics & Defense based on existing bombs from 250 kg to 1,000 kg, the AASM Hammer family is the air-to-ground weapon of choice for the Rafale. The 1,000- kg version rounds out the AASM range. Qualification is planned for 2022, leading to service entry on the new Rafale F4 standard.